Last Minute Holiday Party Tips

Holiday Party Tips on KATU Afternoon Live - A Well Crafted Party

The holidays are seriously right around the corner and I am a little bit shocked. I still have my stocking stuffer gift guides coming to the blog and lots of holiday shopping that still needs to be done. YIKES! This weekend will likely be a big holiday party weekend and I was thrilled to be asked back to KATU’s Afternoon Live to share my last minute holiday party tips.

Here is my spot! Scroll below to look for links to some of the items discussed on this clip.


Holiday Party Tips

Below are some of the tips I shared in my segment and some great links to more tips, recipes, ideas, and DIYs. I also snapped a few behind the scene photos from yesterdays shoot and have shared them below.

Think of people’s schedules. 

My favorite type of holiday party to host is an Open House style party so that people can come and go as they please and still make it to any other holiday obligations they may have. Brunch time parties, late afternoon, or early evening are great times for an Open House style party. Avoid dinner time as you would want to serve heavier foods and more people have plans during the holidays at dinner time.

Holiday Party Decor Tips - Behind the Scenes at KATU - A Well Crafted Party
The Holiday Party Decor Tips Segment Set-Up before rolling on screen!

Decorate with What You Have 

Use items from your own holiday decor or that will coordinate with your holiday decor to decorate for your holiday party. Use natural elements such as garlands and rosemary Christmas trees as decoration as well. (See the Natural Green & White Holiday Party for more ideas.)


Pick a color scheme and use it throughout the party.

Pick a color scheme that coordinates with the holiday decor items you are using and extend that throughout the party to make everything look like it goes together. (Use balloons on stemless beverage-ware to make your glasses stand out and coordinate. This tip has been on a lot of party blogs, but I think the first place I saw it was over on Hostess with the Mostess – click for her tutorial on balloon dipped glasses!)


Sharing Party Tips with KATU's Afternoon Live - A Well Crafted Party

Create height at the food buffet. 

Use platters and stands to create a food display at various heights. TIP: If you don’t have a lot of stands and platters fill a vase with holiday decor and set your platter on top. You can also make yourself an awesome (and inexpensive) cake stand with a glass, glue, and plate! (Check out my tutorial on EAT DRINK PRETTY for making your own cake stand.)

Serve bite sized appetizers and just refill your platters throughout the party. 

This not only looks better but it is safer than letting food sit for several hours. Keep platters prepped and in the fridge or in the oven on warm setting so that you can easily replenish. If you are worried about spending the afternoon replenishing platters instead of engaging with your guests farm that chore out to family and friends who ask how they may help. (Check out my favorite holiday appetizers .)




Holiday Drink Bar - Behind the Scenes - A Well Crafted Party

The holiday bar set up before its TV debut!

Set up a Beverage Bar! 

Don’t spend the entire party making your guests drinks. Set out a simple beverage bar or batch drink (punch bowls are totally back in style) and let guests serve themselves. For the holidays I recommend creating a Sparkling Wine bar with additions such as pomegranate seeds, sugared rosemary, sugared cranberries, and your favorite liquor. I love the Marrionberry Vodka from Wild Roots as a festive addition to a glass of sparkling wine. Pour 3/4 oz of Marrionberry Vodka into a glass and top (carefully, it will bubble!) with 5 oz of sparkling wine. Garnish with a sprig of sugared rosemary.

Holiday Party Favor Ideas - A Well Crafted Party

Yes, Give Party Favors.

Party favors are a way to extend your party in the memories of your guests. Give them something to enjoy after the party! My favorite holiday party favor ideas:

  1. Set out little holiday bags or boxes for your guests to fill with sweets. BONUS: Now you     won’t have a ton of leftover sweets from the party!
  2. Give your guests a small bag of stocking stuffers. They can use the ones that they want or they can use them in stockings at home so that they don’t have to go out and buy as much. I’d LOVE for someone to do me the favor of getting some of that type of holiday shopping out of the way.
  3. Give an ornament. Beautiful and small ornaments are a really lovely way for a guest to remember the party year after year.

Check out my NYE Ideas for a Holiday Game Night as well.

 What is the best holiday party that you’ve ever attended? Comment below, I’d love to know!

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Jenni is a freelance writer and media assistant based in Portland, OR. A Well Crafted Party is a blog about all the little things to celebrate in life. Follow Jenni or A Well Crafted Party with BlogLovin, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
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  1. Reply

    Great tips! I’m doing a holiday party this weekend, so will definitely keep these in mind! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Great suggestions. Your bar looks so festive.

  3. Love the build your own cocktail bar and I’m all about giving parting gifts! Lots of great tips in here!!!

  4. Reply

    So many great tips! Love the tip for creating height at the buffet. I used to often forget to do that and wonder why my tables looked so flat 😉 I’ve since bought many cake stands and tiered platters!
    Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife recently posted…Travel Bliss: Carson’s American Kitchen in Bend, OregonMy Profile

    • Waz
    • December 14, 2016

    Great tips for holiday parties! Love the tip for setting up a beverage bar so guests can serve themselves. It’s much easier that way, and the host can enjoy the party too!
    Waz recently posted…Easy Vegan ChiliMy Profile

  5. I love your ideas for party favors. I agree that having a few goodies that could be used in stockings would be a welcome treat!
    Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama recently posted…Pretty Christmas cookies: Chocolate Candy Cane PinwheelsMy Profile

    • Geoff
    • December 15, 2016

    The beverage bar and the decorate with what you have, tips. Total musts. Wish my mother had seen this before she did her holiday party.

    And congrats on the KATU land!
    Geoff recently posted…The Parts of Portland’s Tea Culture that The Oregonian Missed.My Profile

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